Living in a brand new country that is known for it’s wild life… dangerous and poisonous wildlife, is something that takes some adjusting. Although we haven’t seen much yet, we have seen a variety of new birds, lizards, and the Cane Toad…
Upon arriving to our first sit, we were warned about a large poisonous toad that can release a milky venom out of it’s back between the shoulder blades. Although it can be poisonous to humans, its popular victims are dogs and other pets. Caring for pets in Australia is an entirely new story. To be a responsible pet owner out here is a whole new set of rules and education. For the first time, since I was young, I had to educate myself on the dangers of my environment for the pets I was caring for.
Cane toads were introduced and released in Australia in 1935 to help sugarcane plantations. They were introduced with the purpose of killing and controlling beetles. The plan failed and instead the Cane Toad thrived, reproducing to the point of becoming an overpopulated pest. The plan failed because the Grey Back Beetle is rarely on the ground where Cane Toads live.
Cane toads are often seen as road kill, but aren’t spotted alive as often. They come out more often when it is dark or when it has been raining. Dogs will sometimes chase them or pick them up as road kill. It is important to keep an eye out and make sure that you’re pet is supervised when outside.
We were told that after a dog ingests some of the Cane Toad poison they begin foaming at the mouth. We were instructed that it is very important to wash their mouth out with fresh water and transport the pet to the vet immediately, in the case that this happens.
Living in a country such as Australia brings brand new things to learn about when caring for pets. This is one lesson we had to learn our first week in Australia and I am sure there will be more to come. It’s always nice being slightly more educated on the risks pet owners around the world face!